Brig. Clive Pickard QGM
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Posted 08 August 2016 - 12:44 AM
"Brigadier Clive Pickard, who has died aged 79, was awarded The Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his courage and professionalism while commanding a bomb disposal unit.
Pickard commanded 321 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (321 EOD) Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Northern Ireland from March to November 1974. On August 20, the early morning train from Dublin was stopped by terrorists who placed a large explosive device in a milk churn in the engine compartment.
They then moved the train next to a telegraph pole on the side of the track. This was the second incident of that kind in a fortnight and the intention of the terrorists was to kill the ammunition technical officer (ATO) sent to deal with it.
Having made a careful reconnaissance, Pickard decided to neutralise the device. In the earlier incident, the ATO had approached the train from the back. Pickard was careful not to take the same route. He also used a tailor’s dummy, which he put into uniform and sited with the object of drawing the attention of the terrorists away from himself.
In the motor compartment of the engine, he found the device in a milk churn. It contained 100 lb of home-made explosive and an electrical initiator. Using disruptive equipment, he neutralised it and then began to search the mail coach to ensure that there were no further devices on board.
While he was at the end of the mail coach nearest to the engine, the terrorists detonated another 100 lb device by radio control. It had been placed under the front of the engine, the point at which it would have been normal for anyone to enter. Pickard was very shaken by the explosion but he was unhurt and refused any assistance. He searched the rest of the train and, at 11 o’clock that night, after 15 hours of tense and dangerous work, he was able to declare the train clear.
Clive Robert Pickard was born in Hull on May 22 1937 and was educated at Kingston High School. He was called up for National Service in 1958 and did his basic training at Canterbury with the Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs)."
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